(Source: retailtechnologytrends)
$100M deal lands visual search engine

It seems that Google is expanding its plans to conquer the e-commerce industry.   The internet giant has acquired, a search engine for fashionistas. Last week, the CEO and founder of, Munjal Shah, announced the deal on the site's homepage

Google is said to have bought out the company for an estimated $100 million, according to

The visual search-to-shop site uses an automated cross-matching system that helps users find the clothing and accessories they want and the retailers to buy them from., which has many patents on visual recognition, states on its "about us" page that it combines computer vision and machine learning technology to help users make purchases "based on everything from the consumer's personal style and whether the item matches an outfit to current trends and opinions of the fashion elite".

"With that in mind, we've developed technology that lets us understand visually what terms like 'red high-heeled pumps' and 'floral patterned sleeveless dress' mean and created algorithms to understand whether those pumps complement or clash with that dress." is the company formerly known as Riya. 

In 2005, Google was in the process of buying out Riya.  The company developed software focused on image facial recognition and tagging for consumers. Google pulled out of the deal and instead purchased Neven Vision.  Google used technology from the mobile visual search company to create a service similar to Riya's.   

In 2009 Riya shut down.  Using the technology that it had developed under Riya, the powers-that-be relaunched the company as appears to be just one piece of the "recognition puzzle" that is emerging for  super search engine Google.

In April, Google purchased Plink, the makers of PlinkArt.  The visual art search engine let users identify paintings that they snapped on their smartphones.  The Plink technology is currently being used in conjunction with Google Goggles, a mobile application launched earlier this year.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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